Kenya Travel Stories, Page 3

Barefoot Hoe Farming in Kenya Africa

Barefoot Hoe Farming in Kenya Africa
I walked about five kilometers outside the village of Siaya searching for a Hotel called the Nam Sagali; I finally learned it was not outside Siaya, however really in the next village. I never understand why people pay for trekking….

On the way, I saw many people using hoes alongside the road, none of them had on shoes, I was curious, as 99 percent of people in Kenya have on some form of shoe.

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Siaya, Kenya
East Africa
Friday, April 24, 2009

Siaya is the closest city to Kogelo, the Homestead of Barack Obama.
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Later in the day, I walked on the road that leads towards Kisumu when I spied this rather attractive girl tilling the soil with a hoe. She was dressed nice, I was debating earlier in the day with myself that maybe the poorer people do the hoe farming. I did not try to ask earlier in the day because the other hoe farmers did not look educated enough to speak English.

I stopped and asked this girl,
“Why don’t you have on shoes?”
Before she could answer I added,
“People here in Kenya bug me to death is I do not wear the sandals in my Hotel and here you are walking around barefoot.”
She said,
“It is easier.”

She really could not be bothered with me, and maybe was shy, who knows, I did not get much of an answer. Then an older lady started telling me I should pay her to take a photo, she said,
“you must.”
I told her,
“You are nuts and greedy,”
The younger girl was polite.

Later, I was walking in another location and I spied a person planting corn. The person would walk along, drop the seeds and push them in with her toes.



It appears to be the custom of Kenya to work in the fields without shoes.



THIS IS NOT SUBSISTENCE FARMING

Ok, before you jump to conclusions about Kenya, Africa I want to show you a photo I took in Kilgoris, Kenya. There are five tractors all in one location; this is an amazing amount of tractors for Africa. I think in the whole country of Togo I saw maybe five tractors, there are tons of tractors in Kenya, I do not see this as a subsistence farming country, however yes they do have some small plots being farmed, however the vast majority is done with tractors.

Barefoot Hoe Farming in Kenya Africa


Mosquito Net Stops 20 Bees in Room

Mosquito Net Stops 20 Bees in Room
It is not possible to count the bees in my room, I am sure there are at least 20 of them here in the Siaya Centre Hotel with me. I am lying under the net typing on my computer, maybe I goofed up, I have been living in this Hotel now for about four nights. I have visited every Hotel in the city and it is the most expensive at 850 Shilling per night, I know I am not being cheap.

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Siaya, Kenya
East Africa
Thursday, April 23, 2009

Siaya is the closest city to Kogelo, the Homestead of Barack Obama.
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Bees sitting on each end of a fluorescent light fixture, they never left even when the sun came up, maybe if I shut the light off they would leave, however who wants 20 Bees flying around in a Hotel room?

This is how the story goes…

For the first two nights I kept the door and windows tightly closed from about five in the afternoon until the sun rose in the morning. This was a good strategy, except the room was stuffy and hot, and this annoyed me. I knew the outside air was fresh and cool, the room was only the retaining the heat because of the concrete building. I know if I opened the windows and balcony door, my room would be cool and fresh; I would only have to deal with the increase in noise.



I was safe and comfortable under this net when 20 Bees or more invaded my room in the early morning hours. When I turned on the light they all came and huddled up around the one end of the fluorescent ceiling light. There is a racket a small thunder when 20 Bees are in your room, it is an uncomfortable roar. I am not allergic to Bees, however I see no reason to come out from under my mosquito nets until the sun is raised and the heat of the day hopefully has lured them away. The bees seem cold, they truly are searching for heat, I turned on the small light bulb next to my bed which is warmer than a fluorescent light; however I quickly turned it off and decided to use the overhead fluorescent light. There is something unnerving about having Bees buzzing next to your head.

I am quite safe inside my mosquito net and truly grateful I did not use the Hotel Mosquito Net.



This is the easy to hang Hotel Mosquito Net, it the standard net provided in Kenya Hotels and truly a waste of energy, I keep trying to figure out a way to make it functional, however, this type of Mosquito Net is worthless. The goal of a Mosquito Net is to stop mosquitoes; I believe the goal should be to stop 100 percent of the Mosquitoes with no exceptions.



People tuck the Mosquito Net under the mattress, then are not careful when they remove and it tears the net. (I think Ash recommends you carry Duct Tape so you can patch holes in a mosquito net.) This particular net had many holes, there is no way it would stop the Bees or the Mosquitoes.

If a mosquito net is touching your skin, the mosquitoes can bite you through the net; it cannot be close to your skin. Every edge of this Mosquito net is leaning in towards the bed, this creates a sleeping area about the size of a four foot human and this is a double bed, not a single bed, this type of net is more of an annoyance than a solution.

I am always thinking about the people living in Africa or any region of the world where there are Mosquitoes. Somehow, the human mind has an ability to accept situations it does not know how to change. Most Tourist and Travelers keep upgrading Hotels until they finally pay hundreds of dollars for a room that provides screens on the windows.



This design is the trend in Mosquito Nets, a freestanding tent that people place on top of their beds. Make sure you get one with a bottom in it; I sleep on many single beds, anything bigger than a single is going to be a problem.

I am not carrying this type of Mosquito Net because I have yet to solve the pole problem; this is a lot of weight and does not work in the jungle when a person must sleep in a hammock because the ground is wet.

Mosquito Net Stops 20 Bees in Room


Kenya Observations by Photos

Kenya Observations by Photos
I observe many situations in a day, here are a few extra photos along the way.

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Siaya, Kenya
East Africa
Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Siaya is the closest city to Kogelo, the Homestead of Barack Obama.
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Kenya reminds me of Ghana, there are Caskets outside carpentry shops on display ready to be purchased.



This Kenya girls was walking by, something was different about her shirt. The design of the shirt was such that there was a small tail or piece of material that formed a V. Maybe this is different, maybe it is not, however what I finally realize was the shape of this girls bum was extra rounded. The size of the muscles in the rear of this woman truly altered the design of the shirt.



I purchased a small water cooker from this electrical shop, the person who sold it to me said,
“This shop is owned by Barack Obama’s brother.”

This is located in Siaya, Kenya, maybe 10 Kilometers from the stop in the road called Kogelo where Obama’s father lived. I do not know all the facts; however I think Obama Sr had two or three wives. I believe this shop is owned by a stepbrother of Barack Obama the President of the USA.

I asked where he was and the man said he just returned from visiting Obama in the USA. Hehehe,
“Welcome to America.”

I am sure there will be a deluge of relatives working their way to the USA in the next few years.

Kenya Observations by Photos


Choose a Hotel by Counting Chairs

Choose a Hotel by Counting Chairs
Travel Tip

There are Party Chairs in my Hotel

How to choose a Hotel? I have been enjoying my travels in East Africa immensely, the price of Hotel rooms in East Africa are about half the price of West Africa, is easy to have great accommodations for less than 10 dollars per day.

Competition, there is maybe double or triple the number of Hotels in Kenya or Ethiopia than in Ghana and Togo, I believe competition make the price of rooms cheaper.

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Siaya, Kenya
East Africa
Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Siaya is the closest city to Kogelo, the Homestead of Barack Obama.
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These are chairs arranged for comfort, this is truly a nice place to sit under the shade and have a drink in true African style.

I entered the Farmers Lodge in Kilgoris, Kenya, a very nice establishment with a good restaurant and parking, a perfect place for the Non Governmental Organizations to spend my tax money drinking beer given to them by US Aid. However it is truly a Hotel by the locals for the locals, this is not a tourist Hotel.

I am never in a hurry when choosing a Hotel room; I often sit in chairs like this and have a soft drink before I choose a room.

I advise you to walk around the Hotel, count the number of chairs; try to learn the footprint of the Hotel. This Hotel has about 20 rooms and could sleep about 40 people comfortable, however the number of chairs available in the restaurant and bar would easily seat between 120 and 200 people.

Ooops… what is up with that? I am in a Party Hotel.

There are Hotels that have the benefit of a Bar, and there are Bars that have the benefit of a Hotel.

I found 2-5 rooms in this Hotel situated far enough from the party to be quiet and enjoyable for living

When choosing a Hotel, count the number or chairs, this will help you to choose the best room in the Hotel.

Accommodations, - Hotel Critics, - Hostels, - ,

Choose a Hotel by Counting Chairs


Kenya Drinking Water Mystery

Kenya Drinking Water Mystery
I pride myself in understanding the water of the world, normally understanding water systems in countries is easy, however Kenya is still a mystery.

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Siaya, Kenya
East Africa
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Siaya is the closest city to Kogelo, the Homestead of Barack Obama.
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There is a coin in the bottom of this pitcher of water.

I have been observing the color of the water that comes out of the faucet as I cross the country of Kenya. This is the first country I ever visited where the water was consistently muddy looking.



This water was in Kisumu, Kenya very close to Lake Victoria, there cannot be a shortage of water her.

This is a mystery to me…

There are countries like Mexico and Thailand where the locals refuse to drink the water. The locals in Kenya drink the water, normally if the water is truly bad; the locals refuse to drink it. I talked with a pharmacist in Kericho, Kenya, he said the water was treated and had lots of chlorine, there was no problem drinking the water from the tap. Now I am in Siaya, Kenya, the water is still muddy looking and I had a conversation with the receptionist, she again told me the water is well treated.

When I was in Kigoris, if I asked for drinking water, the women would go to somewhere special and bring a pitcher of water, however it was still muddy.


I have found these water dispensers in the cheaper hotels, for some reason they do not offer any type of water dispensers in my middle priced Hotel. Often they will put clear looking water on the restaurant table; however, I can never find a big bottle of purified water.

I go in the stores, I can count the bottles on the shelves, the locals could not be drinking purified water. I do not see purified water delivery trucks making daily delivery. The people of Kenya are drinking the water from the tap. These is not a walk-to-the-well and carry the water home country, I think China has installed many water tanks.



Here is another water dispenser; I have found many similar looking water dispensers around the country.

I am confused, I have been in this country for about three weeks, I continually ask about the water, and they continually act as if it is not a problem. Maybe the Water and Sewer department of Kenya continually tells them the water is safe to drink, a truly good marketing program.

The cost of a liter of drinking water is about 60 shillings; this is about double countries like Mexico where he water is for sure bad. Water is just a little cheaper than a Coca Cola, there is lot of beer and soda sold in Kenya; however, the amount of purified water sold is small in comparison.

Toilets And Showers, - Water

Kenya Drinking Water Mystery


Global Email Blocked Travel Tip

Global Email Blocked Travel Tip
Email anywhere on the planet, anywhere you can connect to the internet the inferred promise is you will have email.

Can you trust email? No, if you go to some countries you will be blocked, filtered, maybe emails sent to you will be returned. I am in Kenya, similar to Nigeria, or Ghana, however I think Kenya is monitoring their country and stops emails, I believe someone is blocking emails being sent to me.

I have three email accounts.

1. YahooMail.com is my primary.
2. Gmail.com is my backup.
3. I have @hobotraveler.com for a strange reason, this account is unreliable and questionable, however for business reasons I sometimes use…

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Siaya, Kenya
East Africa
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Siaya is the closest city to Kogelo, the Homestead of Barack Obama.
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I have received two phone calls, one from the USA, and another from Thailand saying,
“Your Yahoo Email does not go through.”

I am 90 percent sure the person writing in Thailand is truly blocked; I think my friend Mike in the USA does not understand. Mike called me on a Skype.com telephone number, and my Thai Friend cleverly caller ID a call from me on the BlackBerry Storm and then called me later. I was not happy about this, I think it was a 3-4 dollar a minute phone call.



Workarounds!

I called her and told her to try my Gmail.com account, she wrote the Gmail.com account, which is then forwarded to my YahooMail.com account. I read it, then go open Gmail.com account, and reply, if I reply from the YahooMail.com account is does not arrive, however Gmail.com does work Yahoo is not functioning correctly in Kenya.

Who is blocking? I truly have no idea, there are so many relays between Kenya and Thailand, there is the local Edge provider here called Safaricom, there are relays, maybe Yahoo USA stops them, maybe Yahoo Thailand stops them, maybe her Hospital IT department in Thailand stops them.

There are IT departments that stop emails and they never tell you.

I was in an Airport in the USA, I tried to chat on Yahoo Messenger, somehow the airport had this blocked.

One suggestion, if you are in doubt, reply to an email; do not start an email, somehow emails like known successful paths.

A good businessperson anticipates problems, is aware of possible problems, and hopefully can solve problems.

Blackberry, - Communications, - Internet, - Skype.com, - Fax, - How to Fax, - Mobile Office

Global Email Blocked Travel Tip


Siaya Kenya

Siaya Kenya
“Yes We Can”

I am in Siaya, Kenya, this is the closest city to Kogelo, Kenya, the place where Barack Obama Sr. was born and buried. As Judy from the Bread Shop here in Siaya said,
“Dull.”

However, even though Kogelo is just a stop along a gravel road, the spirit of Obama permeates the area.

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Siaya, Kenya
East Africa
Sunday, April 19, 2009

Siaya is the closest city to Kogelo, the Homestead of Barack Obama.
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I stopped to buy some popcorn from Joseph (Oyugi) Nyiera, and his relative Judy, after in interesting chat, he pointed at this building and said, “Take a photo.”

“Yes We Can.”

Anyway, you look at it, Barack Obama is a good cheerleader, the confidence he has given to Africa is great.

Before I came to Siaya, I tried to find a Hotel in Kogelo, however the Taxi driver was disturbing my peace and moved onto Siaya, I will return to see if there is anything beside a bar in Kogelo. Many of the locals in Siaya ask,
“Did you talk with Mama Sarah?”

They call the grandmother of Barack Obama, “Mama Sarah,” I will go again to visit this little farm on a gravel road surrounded by Army Tents.

Siaya Kenya


Kisumu Kenya

Kisumu Kenya
I left the nice city of Kilgoris, Kenya in the Masai Highlands and traveled to Kisii, where I sat for a half hour thinking about whether I should find a room. I finally decided to make the onward journey to Kisumu, Kenya and arrived there around one o’clock in the afternoon.

Gong, wrong move, I should have spent a night or two in Kisii, the city had energy and Kisumu seems drained.

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Siaya, Kenya
East Africa
Sunday, April 19, 2009

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900 Shilling and they put in a jail cell in Kisumu, I am just kidding, however the management of the Sooper Hotel really did lock the Iron Gate during the day… It is normal for Hotels to post guards at doors and often padlock gates and doors during the night; it is rare to find gates padlocked during the day.

It appears that Kisumu is a dangerous city; there is double the security measures in comparison to other Kenya cities I have visited.

Kisumu was expensive, clean, organized and boring, the location of the Lonely Planet listed Budget Hotels was incredibly boring. Moreover, the price of budget rooms is now 800 instead of the 500 Shilling listed in my book. I was not tempted to stay in Kisumu longer, so early the next morning I took off for Kogelo where President Barack Obama family hailed here in Kenya.

Kisumu is the third largest city in Kenya, the altitude was 1150 meters above sea level, and it appears that Lake Victoria is high enough to be comfortable at night. There was a fan in the Hotel room in Kisumu, this was the first, I have not had a fan in any room since I entered Kenya.
Kisumu Kenya